Saturday, January 12, 2013

Amsterdam Dreaming Deep:

I've just returned home from a 6K run that took place when the weather around me was around 0C. Once out the door, music in my ears, clouds looming above; I headed through Funenpark, past the canals, past the flamingos at Artis, and eventually found myself jetting through the beginnings of the eastern stretches of Sarphatistraat, back home. Gazing over the water that was, at one point, to my right –the Scheepvaart Museum stood stately on its plinth. Seeing the museum from that particular angle made me realize that I hadn't previously seen this angle of the building's façade, from a road that wasn't next to it–as simple as that may sound. At that moment I slowed my pace, tending to sort of jog-in-place, and took a look around me–a canal along a road that I had run down far too many times, which I have never seen onto. Thus, a part of the city I thought I knew, was given a myriad of new meaning and perception, just by branching off into Amsterdam's side streets–small and narrow as they are. Amsterdam mesmerizes, and tiny as it is, the city can be experienced in a myriad of layers; from water, from land, from street, from inside-looking-out, and from above. Falling into the same patterns of cycling path makes one's days repetitive and routine. May Sarton proclaims in Plant Dreaming Deep: 'I knew, from having watched my father hack down an incredible amount he accomplished day by day and year by year, how supportive a routine is, how the spirit moves around freely in it as it does in a plain New England church.' Amsterdam can become routine; the city's glamour commands transcendence, especially when along the grandest of Grachtengordel canals. Amsterdam allows the spirit to move, within its city borders. And so, Amsterdammers have the unique ability to plant their dreams deep–the city would expect nothing less.